black snowman

Märzendorfer manufactures objects out of frozen water or ink: ephemeral sculptures whose disintegration begins the moment they are presented. The ice pieces are an “anti-idea” against that of sculpture, the epitome of the three-dimensional image created for eternity and frozen in time. The artist sets images in motion and creates situations that, thanks to their instability, contain the seeds of moments of surprise.
The eleventh ice piece, or perhaps more properly snow sculpture, in Märzendorfer’s catalogue raisonné, titled Snowman, black, undergoes transformation both of its shape and its phase of matter. A classic three-part snowman, dyed with ink, melts over the course of the exhibition opening. To the artist’s mind, the figure, simple as such (graphically speaking, it is composed of three circles; in three dimensions, of three spheres, as seen also in the related paintings), is a pop icon and critically endangered: the reduced human likeness brings today’s urgent social and ecological challenges into focus.
The snowman looks out of place, not just because of the season and because it has been set up in the interior; its black color, too, is baffling.
What remains in the end is the narrow shipping crate in which the inky water pools, forming a plane in the volume, as though one might take the snowman—or what is left of it—along, put it in storage, or even buy it.
The liquid is a gleaming black, its surface reflective like a mirror; with a view to the political situation, the flat image framed by the box, too, fuses the social and economic situation.
Then again, the snowman ink collected in the well-like crate might also be used to write many a story, filling the pages of book after book, like the blank pages of the black books stacked up in an peculiar pattern on a bookshelf in a matter of form.